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Meet new Patriots tight end Tim Wright

Tim Wright played for Rutgers and was signed by the Bucs as an undrafted free agent in 2013.

AP

Tim Wright played for Rutgers and was signed by the Bucs as an undrafted free agent in 2013.

The Patriots got a relatively unknown tight end from Tampa Bay when they dealt Logan Mankins to the Buccaneers Tuesday.

It’s Tim Wright.

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Here’s a rundown:

■ He is 24 years old. He played for Rutgers and was signed by the Bucs as an undrafted free agent in 2013.

■ He played in 16 games last season (eight starts), catching 54 passes for 571 yards and five touchdowns.

■ He is listed at 6 feet 4 inches and 220 pounds.

■ He becomes the fifth player on the New England roster who played at Rutgers — along with Steve Beauharnais, Duron Harmon, Devin McCourty, and Logan Ryan.

■ He hasn’t had the best preseason, drawing criticism from Bucs coach Lovie Smith for dropping balls in training camp and not blocking effectively.

“Tim’s a good player,” Smith said recently. “He just hasn’t played as well as he needs to lately.”

But four days after throwing out that critique of the Neptune, N.J., native, Smith seemed to change his tune.

“I love Tim Wright as a football player,” said the coach. “You go through spells where you don’t play your best ball for a short period of time. When I talked [previously], there was a little period of time where Tim hadn’t played his best ball.

“But, you look at the big picture, Tim Wright has been a good football player for us.”

Wright has had just two catches for 11 yards and hasn’t been targeted much in exhibition games.

■ He played receiver for Rutgers, but switched to tight end for the Bucs, forcing a jersey change from No. 18 to No. 81.

■ He had 50 catches for 596 yards and four touchdowns in his last two seasons (2011-12) for the Scarlet Knights. He showed the ability to make big catches, like the one-handed grab in the video below in 2012, but he also dropped two crucial balls in a 20-17 loss to Louisville later that season.

■ He played his high school ball at Wall in New Jersey, graduating in 2009 after playing receiver, running back, defensive back, and kick returner.

■ Wright has been groomed to be a barber since he was a kid, first picking up clippers at about 12 years old to cut his own hair. He was the unofficial team barber at Rutgers, shaping up about 30 of his teammates by his senior year, so many that coach Kyle Flood installed a barber chair in the Scarlet Knights’ team facility for Wright.

Follow Rachel G. Bowers on Twitter at @rachelgbowers.
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